Random Thoughts

On January 13, 2018 my mother-in-law passed away.  We got the call that morning and were on a flight that evening.  We spent the first week we were here assisting with funeral preparations, attending the services, and visiting with the many family and friends who were here for the services.  My mother-in-law was a wonderful person and will be very much missed.  I encourage you all to read her obituary, which will give you just a taste of what we have lost.

On Sunday, we started on the long, slow process of sorting through her things.  We started with a pile of boxes in the basement.  Most of the boxes contained things like old checks and bills, as far back as the 1940s.  My husband and his brother have been sorting things to save, shred, and recycle.  I’ve been working my way through the shredding pile.

We have two shredders.  One is a small one that can only handle a few sheets at a time and the other is a more robust machine.  I’ve been shredding on the small one until it can’t take anymore (which takes 15 minutes) and then switching to the big one.  Since the machines are loud enough that it’s difficult for me to hear while I’m working, I’ve mostly been left to my own wandering thoughts.  The rest of this post is a sampling of those thoughts.


99 duplicate checkbooks to shred

99 duplicate checkbooks

Take one down, grr grr grind

98 duplicate checkbooks to shred

(I counted.  That particular box actually had 100 duplicate checkbooks)


1980s hair band music is an excellent accompaniment to the sound of the shredder.


We’ve filled 7 thirty-gallon trash bags with shredded paper.  Each bag holds about 4 of the shredder bins.  Each shredder bin holds shredding from 1/2 – 3/4 of a banker’s box.  That means we’ve shredded 14 – 21 banker’s boxes worth of paper.


My hands are so dry. The forced hot air in the house dries my skin out. The humidity here is so much lower than at home. Handling all this paper dries out my hands. I’m washing my hands A LOT.


We’ve recycled at least 5 banker’s boxes worth of paper.


My mother sometimes tells the story about the New England winter when she had two kids in diapers.  The cold and low humidity always dry you out and she was washing her hands A LOT because of all the diaper changes.  My parents were on a very tight budget and hand cream wasn’t something they could afford, so her hands were cracked and bleeding.


Just glancing around the basement, I can see at least another dozen boxes my husband and brother-in-law still have to review.


I’m very happy that I have hand and body cream that I can deploy against the dryness.


Lanolin would be even better.


Mmmmm lanolin.  If I were at home, I could just go pet that beautiful Corriedale fleece in my office.  It’s got lots of lanolin.


I think I might spin that Corriedale for the Sweater Spin along / Knit along Beth Smith is hosting on her Patreon.


Alice Starmore’s Raven costume, from her forthcoming book Glamourie (Amazon affiliate link), which I’ve had on preorder for several months, would be stunning in that glossy black Corriedale.


Am I that crazy?


My degree of crazy may be dependent upon how much more time I spend shredding documents in the basement.

Sweet Summer Shawl

I finished this shawl yesterday, and I’m super excited because it’s the first time I’ve knit with my handspun!

Official Stats

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About This Project

I loved knitting this project.  I’m happy to finally knit with my handspun.  This yarn is a massive improvement over my prior handspun, but it still has some anomalies.  The Sweet Summer Shawl pattern is forgiving of yarn anomalies, since it is mostly garter stitch.  The shawl is knit from end to end not top down or bottom up.  I was looking for a pattern knit in this manner to maximize the yarn I had.  I managed to use all but 6.9 grams of the yarn.

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The pattern suggests knitting 10 repeats of the increase section then 10 repeats of the decrease section.  I started weighing my yarn after the 8th repeat and every repeat after that.  I ended up with 11 repeats.  I knew I didn’t have enough yarn to knit a 12th increase repeat plus a 12th decrease repeat.  Now that I finished the pattern, I wish I’d knit one repeat without either increasing or decreasing.  I had enough yarn to do so, and I think I would have been happier with an odd number of points.  Since there’s not a central point in the pattern, it ends up slightly asymmetrical and I would have preferred symmetry.  In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor quibble.  It’s a fun, easy pattern to knit and I KNIT WITH MY HANDSPUN!!!

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May 2015 in Review

Since I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, I thought I’d write a quick post re: finished projects and activities.

Finished Projects

Slytherin Houndstooth Scarf

  • Draft: Houndstooth
  • Loom: 15″ Cricket Table Top Loom
  • Reed: 10 dent
  • Warp Stats
    • Yarn: 150 yards (including loom waste) of  Knit Picks Capretta in Platinum and 150 yards (including loom waste) of Cascade Heritage Silk in Pine
    • Loom waste: 31 yards
    • Total Warp Ends: 110
    • Ends Per Inch (EPI): 10
    • Warp Length: 100″
  • Weft Stats
    • Yarn: 153.6 yards Knit Picks Capretta in Platinum and 142.8 yards Cascade Heritage Silk in Pine
    • Picks Per Inch (PPI): 10 – 12
    • Width in the Reed: 11″
  • Ravelry Project Page

I didn’t write a post about finishing this scarf, though it’s appeared in several WIP Wednesday posts (January 22, February 4, March 25).  I had to finish it so that I could weave the Dr. Who scarf on my rigid heddle loom!  Since this is the fourth Houndstooth Scarf I finished (see the posts on Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw Houndstooth scarves), I felt like I didn’t necessarily learn anything new on this project.  I did apply the lessons learned on the prior Houndstooth scarves, so the Slytherin is the most consistent of the four.

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Cotton Candy Corriedale

  • Wheel: Kromski Fantasia
  • Spinning Twist: S (clockwise)
  • Plying Twist: Z (counter-clockwise)
  • Ratio: 8:1
  • Singles Yardage: 978 yards
  • Fiber: Sassy Bee Corriedale in Cotton Candy
  • Finished skein:
    • Ply Structure: 420 yards 2-ply; 46 yards n-ply
    • Weight: 4 oz
  • Ravelry Stash page

This is another project that I’ve been working on for a while and which has appeared in a couple of WIP Wednesday posts (February 4, February 18).  As of February 18, I’d finished plying and had wound most of the yarn onto a niddy noddy.  It then sat around, still on the niddy noddy, awaiting washing.

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Dr. Who Scarf

I did write a blog post about this one!

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Felted Cat Bed

  • Pattern: garter stitch
  • Yarn: 440 yards Patons SWS in Geranium
  • Needles: US 13 / 9.0 mm
  • Pre-felting dimensions: 23″ wide by 40″ long
  • Post-felting dimensions: 11.5″ wide by 19″ long
  • Made for: Pepper
  • Ravelry Project Page

I whipped out a new cat bed to line the bookshelf where Pepper likes to sleep.  Although she wasn’t very co-operative re: posing for the picture, she loves the bed.  It’s now her favorite sleeping spot.

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Semi-finished Projects

These projects are “semi-finished” because I’m making multiple dishcloths from the same patterns, as part of my ongoing Dishcloth Advent Calendar (details in my 2015 Plans post) project.  I’ve finished at least one individual item, but am still working on making more.  I need to make 18 dishcloths in each pattern, and will write blog posts with all the project details when I finish all 18.

Heart Illusion Dishcloths

I finished 9 of these in May.

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Bias Knit, Crochet Cotton Dishcloth

I only finished one of these.  Even with two strands held together, it took about 3 hours to knit one of these, and I didn’t even make it as big as the pattern suggests.  It’ll take me a while to make all 18 of these, but I do like them.

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Activities

I participated in three demos with the Weavers of Orlando.  I’ve written blog posts about two of those: St. Johns River Festival of the Arts and Arts at Audubon Elementary.  The third demo was just this past Friday, and I’m working on writing a post about it!

I also traveled to New England to attend my cousin’s college graduation.  While there, I visited 12 yarn shops, including WEBS!  I bought yarn in all the shops, and will be writing multiple blog posts about the experience.  I needed to take pix of all the new stash for the posts and to update my Rav stash.  I’ve been working on it and I’m just about finished.  I will be posting about these shops throughout the month of June; I plan to get all the posts up no later than June 25 since several of the shops I visited are part of the 2015 I-91 Shop Hop which starts that day.

The Fiber Event, Greencastle Indiana, April 18 & 19, 2014

I don’t go to a lot of Fiber Events. As far as I know, there are only two (now three, but I’ll get to that) fiber events that take place near me: Distaff Days in early January and The Florida Fiber In in mid-September. I have not made it to Distaff Days yet because I’m often away for the holidays the first weekend of January. I have been to The Florida Fiber In twice. The third event is the Florida Sheep, Wool, and Herding Dog Festival, which is a new event, held for the third time this year. I have not been to that event before, because I did not learn about it until after the second time it was held.

This year is an exception to the few fiber events pattern. I am actually attending fiber events three weekends in a row. The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana was the first, held April 18 & 19. Second is the Florida Sheep, Wool, and Herding Dog Festival held April 25-27. Third is Maryland Sheep and Wool on May 3 & 4.

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